Even back then it was a myth.
Among the more popular truisms concerning the onset of the printing press was
the idea that the Catholic Church, sensing how dangerous the very idea of printing
was toward its hegemony, acted quickly to make printing difficult for the masses.
Though this claim seems to ring true, it apparently doesn't hold much historical
water. True, the Church saw the quick dissemination of Luther's theses as a sign
of danger, but it apparently also saw it as a possibility, and (understandably)
used ("co-opted" would be a much too conspiratorial word) the technology
to promote its own message. In our own times, it's worth remembering that the
Vatican had a technologically advanced web site up and running well before web
surfing had become an everyday activity for the masses. It understood that technologies
are more to be used than to be feared.
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